Our View: Conspiracy theory can’t rattle our community’s strength | TheUnion.com

Our View: Conspiracy theory can’t rattle our community’s strength

The Union Editorial Board

You should reevaluate your life when “realizing” a former FBI director has revealed a threat to a Grass Valley school in a tweet.

Your politics are your own. There are plenty of reasons for folks on both sides to dislike James Comey. But none of that provides a foundation for believing the former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation dropped clues about an attack on the Blue Marble Jubilee.

Because, quite simply, that’s crazy.

Unfortunately, a crazy belief is what led Grass Valley Charter School officials and event leaders to cancel the May 11 jubilee.

No one should blame them for that. It’s not a belief that an attack would have descended on the event that caused the cancellation. It’s the real fear that people will accept this foolish belief as true, appear at the event and turn a misguided conspiracy into actual violence.

You only need one crazed conspiracy theorist to think terror lurks around the corner to cause real tragedy.

The sad truth is that this conspiracy, fueled by the juvenile mindset of the QAnon movement, stopped a great local event that raised money for a Grass Valley school. What should be relegated to the fantasy status of Bigfoot and little green men caused numerous people from across the country to contact the school, warning them of a danger that never truly existed.

That danger wasn’t in hidden clues lurking behind a hashtag on Twitter. It’s from the fools who buy into this crap — and that’s a nice word for it.

QAnon is conspiracy theory. Its adherents believe “Q,” whose identity is up for debate, drops clues online, which people then scour for hidden knowledge.

The James Comey tweet wasn’t directly connected to QAnon, but the mindset is the same. Someone found the word “Jihad” in Comey’s #FiveJobsIveHad hashtag, and then found GVCSF — Grass Valley Charter School Foundation — by focusing on the first letter of the five jobs listed by Comey.

The idea that Comey even knows about the local school would shock Nevada County residents. Believing he hid a message about an impending threat to the school is, simply, dumb.

There’s no reason rational people should respect such conspiracy theories. However, we’d be fools not to respect the real terror these theories can inspire and act to protect our community.

That’s why the decision to cancel the Blue Marble Jubilee was the right one.

Sure, we can argue over the wisdom of foregoing the event when law enforcement said the tweet had no validity. The jubilee might have occurred with no problems, its attendees laughing off a farcical threat that wasn’t true.

Of course, this community would condemn the event, the school and everyone connected to it if a crazed conspiracy nut showed up with a gun.

These are our kids, and we should take every precaution to protect them.

We should also step up and help the Grass Valley Charter School Foundation. A GoFundMe, along with a donation option on the Blue Marble Jubilee’s website, provides the chance for us to right the wrong perpetrated by a conspiracy’s antics.

We can assist the school’s foundation recoup the losses from not holding the event and help them fund some projects at the same time. Additionally, three top law enforcement officers — Grass Valley Police Chief Alex Gammelgard, Nevada City Police Chief Chad Ellis and Nevada County Sheriff Shannan Moon — have promised to eat a doughnut hole for every $100 raised through the GoFundMe they started.

It’s typical for our community to step up when needed the most. It shows our resilience, our strength and our love for each other.

If you want to put your faith in something, put it in that.

Our View is the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.

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